S&P, Dow futures edge higher with eyes on more stimulus By Reuters


© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Dow rose on Tuesday after the indexes touched their highest levels in more than two weeks, while investors looked for signs that Washington was close to agreeing on more fiscal stimulus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone on Monday about fresh relief measures and were preparing to talk again on Tuesday.

“Investors have grown more hopeful that lawmakers would reach a compromise on a new stimulus deal,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

Comments from officials that a deal was still possible had lifted the three main stock indexes in the previous session, helping them recoup losses from last week that were sparked by news that President Donald Trump had contracted COVID-19.

Trump returned to the White House on Monday from the Walter Reed Medical Center military hospital, but faced fresh backlash for removing his mask upon his return and urging Americans not to fear the disease that has killed more than 209,000 in the United States.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, were up 147 points, or 0.53%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.21%, and were down 18 points, or 0.16%.

Growing political uncertainty in the run up to the presidential election and mixed macroeconomic data have increased volatility in U.S. stocks, with the benchmark S&P 500 () and the tech-heavy Nasdaq () about 5% and 6% below their respective record highs hit more than a month earlier.

Amazon.com Inc (O:), Apple Inc (O:), Facebook Inc (O:) and Google-owner Alphabet Inc (O:), which have together dominated Wall Street’s recovery from its coronavirus-induced lows in March, fell between 0.4% and 0.7% in premarket trading.

The companies have faced intense regulatory scrutiny into their quest for global market share, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ antitrust report contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies, Republican Congressman Ken Buck said in a draft response seen by Reuters.

All eyes later in the day will be on an address by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at a virtual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics, where global central bankers are likely to present their plans about how much more they can do to prevent an economic depression.

U.S.-listed shares of BioNTech (F:) jumped 10.0% after the European health regulator said it had started a real-time review of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the German biotech firm and U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc (N:). Pfizer’s shares rose 1.2%.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc’s (N:) shares gained 3.4% after the largest theater chain in the world said most of its theaters in the United States and Europe would remain open, with several releases lined up for October and November.

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